The Biggest Loser Is Not the Real Story
After FIFTEEN seasons of NBC’s show The Biggest Loser, now you’re outraged? Now you’re appalled, shocked, and critical?
Twenty-four-year-old Rachel Fredrickson, winner of The Biggest Loser, isn’t the story here, and neither is The Biggest Loser show. Both of them are just doing what they were expected to do. Rachel competed on a “reality” show rewarding extreme weight loss. She performed so well she lost 155lb off her initial 260lb frame and won $250,000 for her achievement. The show’s expectations were to garner ratings success and remain a profitable television show. Expectations met.
But in its fifteenth season, the inevitable occurred. A contestant, with whatever motivation, made such a drastic body transformation that the public reaction incurred much shock, outrage, and criticism. But what did Rachel do wrong? Her “job” was to lose as much weight as possible, and if she was the winner of the show, she would also be financially rewarded. We’re talking $250,000. That’s a lot of money to most people. I had to ask myself, what would I do for $250,000? What would others do for $250,000?
Unfortunately, all too often, we know what people won’t do for their family, loved ones, friends, even themselves. They won’t make lifestyle changes to improve their health.
Sometimes we get our act together and make lifestyle changes that include diet and/or exercise. Other times, we ignore the signals, the warnings, until it’s either too late or until we have no choice. But it’s 2014, people. We know eating junk food, fast food, and drinking soda/sugary drinks is bad for our health.
We know our bodies need exercise and proper sleep and that lifting something heavy is actually a good thing when exercising. We know we should eat more vegetables and drink more water. We know many components of a healthier lifestyle, but we prefer to live the lie.
“I don’t have a choice, (insert excuse) is why I can’t get healthy.”
Most of us will never obtain the services nor live in the environment of those chosen to participate in shows like The Biggest Loser. So you may never have a personal trainer, assistance on your diet, time away from work and family to focus on weight loss and healthy habits, nor financial compensation for something we should want for ourselves anyway. Guess what?
You should want a healthy body for you.
You aren’t indestructible. None of us are. You may be a titan in the business world, but it doesn’t mean a thing to your body’s war. You may be the most amazing and supporting parent, spouse, or family member, but that won’t prevent health issues. We make priorities in our life. They are a choice we make.
Our priorities can include ourselves, our health, loved ones, God, or anything else. But too often we prioritize the wrong parts of life. That expensive car, apartment, house, clothing…maybe they come at a cost more than just money. Maybe the price of your lifestyle is long hours on the job, a poor diet, not enough time with loved ones, and not enough time to exercise. But your priorities are a choice.
Too often, we prefer living this lie. A lie that “we can’t because…” The irony is that we only realize true value after it’s too late. Did you need to work 60-80 hour weeks? For what? A car? A bigger house? More extravagant furniture These things are replaceable and superficial. But do you know what is priceless? Time. Quality time with loved ones. Time spent with a high “quality of life” in which you can physically do the things you want, and do them for yourself. Time in good health and not reliant upon medicine or doctor supervision. Time living to walk your daughter down the aisle at her wedding.
The real story isn’t about Rachel Fredrickson’s weight loss or even the Biggest Loser’s controversy. It’s us. Why is this show a TV hit? Why do so many of us feel so helpless? Why do so many of us avoid nature’s cheapest antidepressant, exercise? We will visit endless doctors for numerous prescriptions, but don’t take the simplest advice to exercise and practice healthier habits to improve ourselves and any condition ailing us.
It’s why we love this show. We love to watch other people compete and it motivates us. But while we watch them compete, we still believe that we can’t meet those goals ourselves. We have no faith, so we tell ourselves a “lie” to make it OK that we aren’t making our health, our family, and our friends a priority.
That’s the real story.
You failed to mention that after an interview with Rachel, she said she was taking 3 fitness classes a day and eating a 1,800 calorie diet. This level of fitness requires more calories. As well as, most people can’t do 3 classes a day. In fact, if you are single, not working then maybe you could. However, this isn’t the norm for most people.
3 fitness classes per day, not impossible. Those classes are often what you make of them. They can be very easy, moderate, for very challenging and intense. 1800 calories…that would seem low. But folks aren’t all the same. Would I lean towards that caloric number being low, sure, but could that be where she needed to be and still be healthy? Maybe. I do challenge that someone couldn’t train 3 hours in a day and not be void of job or relationship. Because I train 2 hours plus most days. But it IS a balancing act, and one of priorities. While it isn’t “normal,” that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. This topic brings up great debate, so the more we discuss, educate, and debate, the greater I believe we can all benefit.